STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 10146-9640 LABEL: Columbia 5123492 FORMAT: CD Album RELEASE DATE: 2007-05-31 RRP: £9.99
Reviewed by Trevor Raggatt
It would be hard to overstate the anticipation which surrounded the release of 'Slow Train Coming' in 1979. Word had been leaking out that Dylan, a rock icon of the stature of Presley, Lennon or Hendrix, had become a Christian and was making a - gasp - gospel album! The big question was, would this mean a classic, spiritually-themed album from one of rock's great poets or a collection of cheesy "Kum-by-ya" choruses? It's probably debatable whether 'Slow Train Coming' really matches up to the glories of Dylan's 1960s output. However, it remains a fine album and one of the highlights of his later career. Recorded at the famous Muscle Shoals Studio by Jerry Wexler and featuring a youthful Mark Knopfler on guitar, it presents nine classic rock tunes with an inevitable Dire Straits flavour. Dylan's writing on the album displays his characteristic genius for finding the right words and turning an idea on its head - particularly on songs like "I Believe In You", "When You Gonna Wake Up" and the title track. "Man Gave Names To All The Animals" shows the enthusiastic naïveté of the new believer, while others are steeped in the End Times theology which was so prevalent in late 1970s California. No matter how one approaches this album it remains a compelling selection of tracks and, graced as it is with Knopfler's inspired guitar, could also be ranked as one of the best albums that Dire Straits never made!
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There was much buzz in the Christian community in the late 70’s when Bob Dylan announced his conversion to Christianity and released his first Christian music album.
While Dylan’s spiritual journey has redefined his musical style, he left behind landmark Christian music albums with a living message.